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Alcatraz

Critics' choice
Attractions, Museums

'Alcatraz' is Spanish for pelican, but to its inmates it was simply known as 'the Rock'. The West Coast's first lighthouse was built here in 1854, but it...

Alcatraz Island
Major venue

Bay Area Discovery Museum

Attractions, Museums

This hands-on museum, located just below the north ramp of the Golden Gate Bridge and boasting spectacular skyline views, offers a load of hands-on...

East Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road

California Academy of Sciences

Attractions, Museums

How has life on earth evolved? How do we foster the respect needed to preserve and protect its future? These are the themes the California Academy of...

55 Concourse Drive

Chabot Space & Science Center

Attractions, Museums

High in the Oakland Hills, the Chabot combines a superbly equipped, state-of-the-art planetarium with an observatory and film theatre; the latter runs 70mm...

10000 Skyline Boulevard

De Young Museum

Attractions, Museums, Restaurants & cafés

The most prominent feature of this controversial new future-primitive building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is the massive tower that emerges from the...

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

Exploratorium

Critics' choice
Attractions, Museums

Housed in the historic Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium has over 600 interactive exhibits about science, art and human perception. A highlight is the...

3601 Lyon Street

Fort Mason Center

Critics' choice
Art, Attractions, Museums, Restaurants & cafés, Theatre

This collection of ex-military buildings features various cultural institutions, including the Museo ItaloAmericano (Building C, 673 2200,...

Marina Boulevard

Haas-Lilienthal House

Attractions, Museums, Tours

Built in 1886 by Bavarian immigrant William Haas, this 28-room house has elaborate wooden gables and a circular tower, clearly marking it as being in the...

2007 Franklin Street

Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty Ship

Attractions, Museums

There's plenty for history buffs big and small to explore aboard the Jeremiah O'Brien, a veteran of D-Day and the only original ship to sail under its own...

Pier 45
Major venue

Museum of Performance & Design

Art, Attractions, Museums

The former San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum was closed for renovation at the time of writing, due to reopen in March 2008 as the Museum of...

Veterans' Memorial Building, 4th floor

Octagon House

Art, Attractions, Museums

The 1861 Octagon House is home to the small Museum of Colonial and Federal Decorative Arts, but is most notable as one of two surviving examples of...

2645 Gough Street
Free

Randall Museum

Attractions, Museums

This small museum offers panoramic views of the city and hands-on fun for pre-teens, including an exhibit where they can create their own earthquake....

199 Museum Street
Free

Rincon Center

Art, Attractions, Museums

The lobby (facing Mission Street) of this art deco post office-cum-residential and office tower has intriguing WPA-style murals. Painted in 1941 by the...

101 Spear Street
Free

Society of California Pioneers Seymour Pioneer Museum

Attractions, Museums

Operated by descendants of the state's first settlers, this small museum, a treasure trove for the historically inclined, has occasional intriguing displays...

300 4th Street

USS Pampanito

Attractions, Museums

The Pampanito is a World War II, Balao-class Fleet submarine with an impressive record: it made six patrols in the Pacific at the height of the war, sinking...

Pier 45